Africa’s most influential brands that were actually founded by Africans

Unfortunately for Africa, most of the products its people use and craze are sadly not African. In fact, by the look of the stores in many of the continent’s malls, today’s growing African population buys, or at least, aspires to buy from brands such as Nike, Gucci, and Toyota – none of which are African-owned or Africa-manufactured.

In fact, according to the latest brand survey by Brand Leadership Group, a reputation advisory firm in Africa working with GeoPoll, a mobile-based market research firm, and Kantar TNS, an analytics firm, the brand Africans most admire in 2017/2018 is Nike.

The research group which surveyed over 15,000 Africans among a representative sample of African consumers in 23 African countries, representing 75% of Africa’s population across all political and economic regions, found that out of the top 10 most admired brands in Africa in 2017/2018, the only African-owned is MTN.

And when people were asked specifically about “African” brands, these were their top 10.

Below is a little about each of these top 10 Africa-inspired brands, what they do, and where available, some information about its founder.

MTN is a South-African company founded in 1994, with headquarter in Johannesburg. The company’s founder is South African, Koos Bekker, the founder and chairman of the African media group, Naspers, which is located in more than 130 counts.

Dangote Group was established as a small trading firm in 1977 by Nigerian, Aliko Dangote. It is now a multi-trillion-naira conglomerate with operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo.

Anbessa is a renowned shoe company founded in 1935 by an Italian owner in Ethiopia.

Glo is a telecommunications company that was founded by Nigerian, Chief Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr. The billionaire is the second-richest person in Nigeria and his company has a presence in Benin and Ghana.

Tiger Brands was founded by South African Jacob Frankel in 1921. The packaged goods company is South Africa’s largest food company and has direct and indirect interests in international food businesses in Chile, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Nigeria, Kenya, and Cameroon.

Shoprite South Africa was founded in 1979 and is Africa’s largest food retailer. The company operates 2,689 outlets in 15 countries across Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

Econet Wireless is a telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America and the East Asia Pacific Rim. The company was founded by Zimbabwean billionaire, Strive Masiyiwa in 1993.

Tusker is one of Africa’s largest beer brands. It is owned by East African Breweries, formerly Kenya Breweries, which incorporated the company in 1922.

Trade Kings is the largest fast moving consumer goods manufacturer in Zambia and one of the major manufacturers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Azam is a conglomerate which owns several companies and has investments primarily in Food and Beverage Sector, Packaging, Logistics, Marine Passenger Services, Petroleum, and Entertainment. The company began as a small restaurant in the Port City of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, in the 1970s. It is now one of the prominent family-owned business group in the region.

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